Being part of a clarinet competition, whether a small local event or an international competition, can be an exciting event for any clarinet player. There are many international competitions, some held annually, others only every few years, that while often only open to professional level players, can be a valuable experience for student clarinet players to attend and be inspired.
A relatively new competition that has become one of the highlights for the clarinet world is the The Carl Nielsen International Competition held in Denmark. Along with competitions for violin and flute, there is a competition for clarinets held every four years, which started in 1997. As well as a generous cash prize, the winner also receives the opportunity to play at prestigious engagements around the world. Open to all clarinetists under the age of 30, and the competition has four rounds, three preliminary rounds and a final round, and all rounds are open to the public. Previous winners have come from across the globe, as do the members of the jury. The format of this competition is similar to many held around the world.
As well as this and other international competitions, clarinetists can also compete in the many chamber music competitions around the world. Most players who have reached this level have previously played in local and regional competitions before, and have been encouraged to enter these major competitions by their teachers or peers. If you are interested in entering competitions in your local area, your first step is to contact your local or regional clarinet association, which will be able to tell you about competitions open to players in your region and at your level of playing.
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